Reggie White - Footsteps


By Jon Meerdink

When I was little, I had exactly two sports pictures that hung on my wall. One was a framed picture that had shots of Brett Favre, Edgar Bennett, Robert Brooks, and Reggie White. The other was a large poster of Reggie White that featured a poem-type thing called "Footsteps." No, not the one about Jesus carrying the guy walking on an endless beach. This one was a little different.


Do you hear footsteps? I do, and they belong to Reggie White of the Green Bay Packers.

He is bigger than you. He is stronger than you. He is quicker than you.

He stands 6'5" and weighs around 300 pounds.

If he catches you, he will throw you. If you hold him, you'll be dragged. If he hits you, you'll feel pain. If you escape, it won't happen again.

He has more sacks than a grocery store.

He hits real hard and can bench press your house.

He's an ordained minister who spends his Sundays in the fall making sure you are saying your prayers.

Have you said yours today?

He can hurt you.

He has no fears - no equals.

Do you hear footsteps? I do.

From the moment I saw that poster, I loved Reggie White. He was the coolest, biggest, strongest, most punishing defender in the league, and he played for our team, which was awesome. The best part about loving Reggie White was that you didn't ever need to explain what was good about him. He threw people around, he jumped over them, he chased down quarterbacks and tore them into little pieces with his bare hands. Everything about him was brute strength and muscle wrapped in a green jersey and a yellow helmet that always seemed just a little too small for him. But there was something else that drew me to Reggie White: his faith.

I never liked the "Minister of Defense" nickname, because like all nicknames it got driven straight into the ground and then pounded on some more for good measure. But nickname aside, Reggie was a literal and figurative pillar of faith, and just knowing that someone as cool as Reggie White could be a Christian helped me tremendously when I was little. Other than my parents, my grandparents, and the other people in my church, I really didn't know of any Christian people in the outside world. Reggie White made believing in Jesus something bigger than just a Sunday morning routine. Somehow, knowing that a guy who hit people as hard as he could for a living was a Christian made pursuing it more desirable.

I don't want to overstate it, but when Reggie White died, it was like a silent mentor had passed out of my life. Obviously, I never knew him beyond what I'd read about him and seen on TV, but he'd still had an impact on my life. I was sad that day, but also comforted that our shared faith assured a shared eternal destiny. Even though he was gone, the legacy he left still affected me through his books, the memories of his playing days, and the reality of his integrity and strength as a believer in Christ. He was gone, sure, but I knew that what Reggie had left behind would continue to encourage me

In a way, it's like following his footsteps. Or even hearing them.

Do you hear footsteps? I do.

AnalysisJon Meerdink